THAILAND: The Mass Rapid Transit Authority announced on January 20 that it had awarded the second construction contract for Bangkok’s 23 km Purple Line, linking Tao Pan near Bang Sue with Bang Yai in the capital’s northwest suburbs.

Valued at 13·1bn baht, the contract awarded to Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction covers the 11 km elevated section from Phra Nang Klao to Khlong Bang Pai. Work is expected to start in February, for completion within 48 months.

The CKTC joint venture of Ch Karnchang and Tokyo Construction was awarded a 14·3bn baht contract last year for the 12 km initial section between Tao Pun and Phra Nang Klao, including the 330 m long Rama III Bridge over the Chao Phraya river.

According to the Transport Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Supoj Saplom, who is also Chairman of the MRTA board, the Purple Line is expected to open in 2014, at a total cost of 50bn baht. Reporting that around 70% of the land expropriation for the route had been completed, he said the third main civil works contract could be awarded within a week. Worth around 6bn baht, this covers construction of the depot and maintenance building at Bang Yai, and MRTA has already selected the PAR joint venture Power Line Engineering, Ascon Construction and RNC (Thailand) as preferred bidder.

The civil works on the Purple Line are being funded from a 22bn baht Japanese loan agreed in 2008. MRTA expects to invite tenders shortly for the E&M works and rolling stock, which will be funded by the private sector through a 25-year PPP concession agreement.

Read more about Bangkok’s urban rail master plan in the March 2010 issue of Metro Report International